Healthy eating is a lifestyle choice and has nothing in common with dieting. It’s the exact opposite! In a diet you restrict yourself of consuming food but a healthy lifestyle encourages eating in order to feed and nourish the body. Meal prep is an important part of it. It doesn’t need to be complicated, just set some time aside one day a week and plan your daily meals.
Salad in a jar is the perfect meal prep for hot summer days. No need to stand in front of a hot stove and it’s refreshing to eat. Pick your favorite ingredients and follow these steps to prevent the salad from ending up as a soggy mush:

– Use a glass jar with a wide mouth
– Add the dressing. I suggest a home-made vinaigrette, see recipe below. If you add the dressing at a later step the salad will get too soggy.
– Add crunch and crisp veggies like carrots, beets, celery, peppers or beans. This layer protects the other ingredients to get soggy.
– Then add softer veggies like corn, broccoli, tomatoes, zucchinis or cucumbers.
– Add a protein like tofu, chicken, cubed ham, cheese or turkey.
– Add a layer of whole grains like brown rice, pasta or barley to make it more satisfying.
– Finally, the last layer is lettuce or greens like arugula, spinach or romaine lettuce. Sprinkle it with nuts to give it more crunch.
– Seal with the lid and store in the fridge.

When you are ready to eat the salad give it a good shake and enjoy. ?

Recipe for home-made balsamic vinaigrette:
(makes about 1 cup)

INGREDIENTS
– 3/4 cup  extra-virgin olive oil
– 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
– Salt
– Fresh-ground pepper
Optional extras
Spoonful of mustard, minced shallots, minced garlic, minced fresh herbs, teaspoon dried herbs, spoonful of honey or brown sugar

INSTRUCTIONS:
Combine the olive oil and balsamic in a jar or other container with a good-sealing lid. Add a big pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Screw on the lid and shake vigorously. Dip a piece of lettuce into the vinaigrette and taste. Adjust the salt, pepper, or the proportion of oil and vinegar to taste.